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May 16, 2024

Getting Your Home Winter-Ready

As the chill of winter approaches, it’s essential to prepare your home to ensure comfort, safety, and efficiency during the colder months. Here are some essential tips to help you get your property winter-ready: Chimney and Wood Heater Maintenance: For landlords and homeowners with wood heaters or fireplaces, it's crucial to have the chimney inspected and cleaned regularly. A buildup can increase the risk of chimney fires. Tenants should notify their landlords if they notice any issues with the chimney or wood heater, such as poor ventilation or unusual odors, to ensure prompt maintenance. Servicing Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are essential for keeping your home warm and cosy during winter. Schedule a professional service to ensure your heat pump is working efficiently. Landlords should arrange for heat pump servicing before the onset of winter to prevent breakdowns and ensure tenant comfort. Cleaning Gutters: Clogged gutters can lead to water damage particularly during winter. Clear leaves, debris, and any blockages from gutters and downspouts to allow proper drainage. Homeowners and landlords should inspect gutters periodically and clean them as needed, especially after heavy rainfall or when leaves start to fall. Addressing Slippery Surfaces: Winter brings slippery conditions, making it essential to address any potential hazards around your property. Landlords and homeowners should ensure that footpaths, driveways, and entryways are clear of debris and treated to prevent slips and falls. Tenants should promptly report any icy or slippery areas around their rental property to their landlords for remediation. Insulating Pipes: Frozen pipes can burst, causing costly water damage. Insulate exposed pipes, especially those in unheated areas attics, and crawl spaces. Landlords should consider insulating pipes in rental properties to prevent potential damage for tenants during winter. By taking these proactive measures, landlords, homeowners, and tenants can ensure their properties are well-prepared for the winter season. Remember, regular maintenance and timely repairs not only enhance comfort but also contribute to the long-term health and value of your property. Stay warm and safe this winter!

May 1, 2024

Did You Spot the Spelling Mistake?

You may have noticed we use the word Smartre in our agency. You may be one of our clients who alerted us to our ‘spelling mistake’. Don't worry, it hasn't been done accidently. Smartre means Smart Real Estate. At Peter Lees Real Estate, we take a different approach that ensures we have a client-centric focus in all that we do. Our mission is to use ethical and effective strategies in every single interaction we have with our clients and customers. Unethical practices come at the cost of somebody within the transaction, either the seller, buyer, landlord or tenant – often due to manipulation, dishonesty or misrepresentation. At Peter Lees we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards possible. We refuse to conduct ourselves unethically. Ineffective strategies are quite simply, useless. The strategies employed by our team not only lead to the highest price possible within the required timeframe, but the best possible outcomes for any of our clients. We do this with The Smartre Sale - a methodology now available to all clients of Peter Lees Real Estate. Our articles, opinions, posts and more than anything else, our results, will show you how this style of selling property will work for you. If you see the word Smartre associated with other real estate agencies in Australia and New Zealand, you can be assured that they too are focussed on achieving high ethical standards and are striving to improve the way people work and transact with real estate. We're proud to be associated with The Smartre Group. We'll continue to provide more information on The Smartre Sale with examples of successful results in the Launceston area from our clients who are are reaping its benefits. For more information in the meantime, please reach out to any of our team.

Apr 18, 2024

6 Questions to Ask Before Appointing a Property Manager

Appointing the right property manager is critical to the success of your property investment journey. Here are the 6 questions that will determine whether a property manager is the right fit for you. How many years of experience do you have in property management? Inquire about their years of experience, types of properties managed, and their track record of success. Ask for examples of challenging situations they've handled and how they resolved them. The property manager’s answer to this question will determine their competency and will help the investor understand the property manager's experience, indicating familiarity with tenant relations, maintenance coordination, financial management, and legal compliance. Gauging industry knowledge ensures familiarity with market trends, regulations, and best practices, vital for adapting to changing conditions. It will also allow for the investor to determine whether the property manager is in alignment with the property owner's specific needs and preferences. With years of experience in property management, our team brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of success. From navigating challenging situations to staying on top of market trends and regulations, we have the expertise to ensure your investment thrives in any environment. How many properties do you currently manage? Understanding the workload of a property manager is crucial to determining whether they can dedicate sufficient time and attention to your property, gauging whether your property will receive personalised attention and high-quality service. Assessing the manager's workload aids in evaluating their responsiveness to issues and emergencies, determining if they will promptly address maintenance requests, tenant inquiries, and other concerns. By inquiring about the manager's workload, property owners can assess workload, responsiveness, communication, and the overall quality of management services provided, enabling them to make an informed decision when selecting a property manager. Your property deserves individualized care and attention. Unlike other firms, we prioritize quality over quantity, ensuring that each property under our management receives the personalised service it deserves. You can trust that your investment will always be our top priority. How do you market vacancies and attract quality tenants? Asking a property manager how they market vacancies and attract quality tenants is essential for several reasons: Maximising occupancy rates is a primary goal for property owners, underscoring the importance of effective marketing strategies to minimise vacancy periods. Property owners seek assurance that their property manager employs a proactive approach to marketing vacancies and promptly attracting tenants. Prioritising quality tenants is paramount for property owners, emphasising the need for reliable individuals who pay rent punctually, maintain the property, and adhere to lease terms. By delving into the property manager's tenant screening and marketing techniques, property owners ensure methods are in place to attract tenants with stable incomes and favourable rental histories. Additionally, understanding the property manager's approach to vacancy marketing offers insight into their grasp of the local rental market. Property managers should possess knowledge of market trends, rental rates, and tenant preferences, tailoring marketing efforts accordingly. Inquiring about the advertising channels utilised, such as online listings, social media, signage, and local publications, helps assess their effectiveness in reaching the target audience. Ultimately property managers should implement strategies to maintain tenant satisfaction, address concerns promptly, and renew leases to minimize turnover. Assessing vacancy marketing strategies allows property owners to evaluate the property manager's competitiveness in the local rental market allowing property owners to make informed decisions when selecting a property manager to oversee their rental property. Maximizing occupancy rates and attracting quality tenants is our specialty. Our proactive marketing strategies and rigorous tenant screening processes ensure that your property remains profitable and hassle-free. With us, you can rest assured that your investment is in good hands. How do you handle maintenance and repairs? Property maintenance is pivotal for preserving the condition and value of a property, making effective maintenance protocols essential for property owners. They seek assurance that their property manager has systems in place to maintain the property's appeal to tenants. Prompt maintenance not only enhances tenant satisfaction but also fosters retention by ensuring their comfort and safety.  Regular maintenance and timely repairs contribute to preserving the property's value over time, safeguarding the owner's investment. Property owners should inquire about the manager's network of vendors, response times, and workmanship quality. Compliance with local regulations and laws is imperative to mitigate legal liabilities. Property managers must ensure maintenance activities adhere to building codes, health and safety regulations, and landlord-tenant laws. Transparent communication regarding maintenance issues, progress and expenses is expected by property owners, as well as prompt communication with tenants and owners. Property managers should develop maintenance budgets, obtain competitive bids, and monitor expenses diligently. Overall, inquiring about maintenance and repair handling ensures property managers possess the necessary knowledge, resources, and systems to maintain properties effectively, safeguard investments, and deliver quality service to tenants. This evaluation aids property owners in selecting a suitable property manager. Property maintenance is more than just routine tasks; it's about preserving your investment's value and ensuring tenant satisfaction. Our comprehensive maintenance protocols and transparent communication guarantee that your property remains in optimal condition, safeguarding your long-term returns. How do you handle tenant disputes and evictions? Property owners seek assurance that their property manager comprehends legal requirements, procedures, and timelines for resolving disputes and initiating eviction proceedings. Given the legal and financial risks associated with disputes and evictions, effective risk management strategies are imperative. Property managers should implement policies and procedures to mitigate risks, minimize liabilities, and safeguard the owner's interests. Furthermore, fostering positive tenant relations is essential for tenant satisfaction and retention. Property managers should possess strategies for addressing tenant concerns, resolving conflicts amicably, and nurturing positive relationships to reduce turnover. Proper documentation is essential in dispute resolution and eviction proceedings, emphasising the importance of maintaining accurate records of lease agreements, communications, and actions taken. A property managers' proactive approach to mitigating risks can be assessed through inquiry into their screening criteria, lease agreements, and enforcement policies. Overall, inquiring about the property manager's approach to disputes and evictions aids property owners in assessing their knowledge, experience, and preparedness to manage such situations effectively. This evaluation ensures property owners can entrust their property manager to handle disputes and evictions with diligence, professionalism, and legal compliance. We understand that disputes and evictions can be daunting challenges for property owners. That's why we have robust risk management strategies in place to handle any situation with professionalism and efficiency. With us by your side, you can navigate legal complexities with confidence. Finally, what are your fees and charges? When evaluating a property manager, it's crucial to clarify their fee structure, including management fees, leasing fees, maintenance fees, and any additional charges, while also asking about payment schedules, renewal options, and any potential hidden costs. Clarifying the scope of services offered, including tenant screening, rent collection, maintenance coordination, property inspections, financial reporting, and eviction procedures, ensures alignment with your needs and expectations. Lastly, inquiring about financial management and reporting practices, such as accounting practices, rent collection procedures, and handling of security deposits and late payments, offers transparency and insight into their financial stewardship capabilities. These questions can help you assess the property manager's qualifications, expertise, and compatibility with your investment goals. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate their responses and consider conducting interviews with multiple candidates before making a decision. Our commitment to transparency extends to our fee structure. We believe in fair and honest pricing, with no hidden costs or surprises. You'll always know exactly what you're paying for and can trust that you're getting the best value for your investment. At Peter Lees Real Estate, we're dedicated to your success. Choose us as your property management partner and experience the difference firsthand. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your investment goals or answer any questions you may have. With us, your property is in the best possible hands. Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS, AVAA) Chief Executive Officer of BMT Tax Depreciation.  

Mar 12, 2024

8 Questions Smart Sellers Ask

This is the must have book if you're considering selling your property in 2024, before you interview agents! For a limited time, receive a FREE copy of our booklet: 8 Questions Smart Home Sellers Ask When interviewing real estate agents, the questions you ask will dictate the quality of the information you receive, which in turn affects your decision on which agent to hire. *Please note, this is not an instant download. The booklet will be sent to you via email (or post if requested) within 24 hours. [form id="71f60de2-d456-11ee-9128-9a6f12b02436" background="true"]

Mar 6, 2024

Must-Dos Before Renting Out

Are you thinking about turning your home into an investment property? It's a savvy move to boost your income, but there are some important things to do before you start renting out... First off, let's talk about de-personalising the place. Your future tenants want to feel like it's their home so remove personal items. Stash away family photos, erase those childhood height marks on the walls, and make sure any mail gets forwarded. This helps your tenants envision themselves living there without reminders of the previous owners. Next, don't skip out on maintenance. Fix those small issues before they become big headaches. Whether it's a cracked wall or peeling paint, addressing these problems early on maintains your property's value and keeps your tenants happy. Consider sprucing up the place with some smart improvements. Think about what your target tenants want. Families might appreciate a bathtub, while easy-to-clean surfaces can be a hit with everyone. Timing matters too – make these upgrades after you've moved out to maximise any tax benefits. Before your new tenants move in, give the place a thorough cleaning. A spotless property sets the right tone and shows you take care of your investment. You might want to hire a professional cleaner recommended by your property manager for that extra shine. Make sure you're properly insured. Switching from homeowner's insurance to landlord insurance is crucial. It protects you from rental-specific risks like tenant damage or loss of rent. Shop around for the best policy that suits your needs and covers all the bases. Lastly, don't overlook the opportunity to claim depreciation deductions and potentially increase cash flow. Depreciation refers to the natural wear and tear of a property and its assets over time, which can be claimed as a tax deduction. Consult a specialist quantity surveyor for a depreciation estimate and uncover potential tax savings - the estimate itself should be free By completing these six steps, you'll ensure your property is well-prepared for rental, protect your investment, and maximise your returns. For expert guidance on depreciation and other property investment strategies, we recommend you contact BMT Tax Depreciation.

Nov 27, 2023

Spread the joy this season!

Collecting Gift Donations for Magnolia Place.  The festive season is upon us, and while it's a magical time for many, let's remember those who may need a little extra love this year. For the 7th consecutive year, we're excited to invite you to join us in supporting Magnolia Place, Launceston Women’s Shelter, who provide crisis support services for women and children here in Launceston. Who are we gifting? Our Giving Tree aims to bring smiles to the women and children at Magnolia Place over Christmas. There will be tiny babies, as well as children up to 16 years of age. Not sure what to give? Here are some ideas: General Toys for both Girls & Boys Dolls – baby dolls/barbie dolls Lego/Duplo Dress-Up Costumes Craft Kits Board Games Sports Equipment such as Cricket Sets, Basketballs, Footballs Gift Vouchers (Kids Paradise, Launceston Entertainment Complex, Ten Pin Bowling, Aquatic Centre, Village Cinema, etc.) For the woman residing at Magnolia Place: Pamper Gift Sets Boxed Mug Sets Towels Jewellery Gift Vouchers Every bit helps! Any non-perishable food items are also greatly appreciated. A small request: To make sure the team at Magnolia Place can distribute everything efficiently, please leave the gifts unwrapped. However, if you have spare gift wrap, sticky-tape and cards, they will be gladly accepted. Let's make this festive season extra special for everyone and work together to bring warmth and joy to those who need it most. Thank you for being part of the magic! How to contribute: Drop your gifts at our office: 152 Brisbane St, Launceston anytime during opening hours Mon-Fri 9-5:30. Any questions, give our office a call 03 6331 5544.

Oct 19, 2023

Buy, Sell or Wait?

If you are like most people you're probably wondering, what is the right thing to do in the current property market! Identifying the best time to buy or sell real estate is difficult because the property market is influenced by numerous factors and can be unpredictable at the best of times. However, here is some general knowledge and information that may help you make an informed decision. Don't fall for media fearmongering. Property investment is a long-term game, focus on the bigger picture. Despite negative media doverage the Australian property market remains one of the best places in the world to invest in. Property markets acrtoss Australia appear to have bottomed out and are now on an upswing.' Learn to differentiate between noise and media reporting, by understanding that they are a business, and for business reasons, they may not always provide the full story. It's natural to fear the unknown and the media knows this. That's why they are always reporting on the latest crisis or the latest disaster, the next big threat or impending doom. There's been countless sensational headlines warning the imminent collapse of the property market for as long as I can remember. This kind of sensationalist reporting is their bread-and-butter way of reaching a wider audience which generates more revenue for their business. Welcome to journalism. Here's the bigger picture. Australia has a housing shortage, and it will get worse as our population is projected to grow substantially over the next few years. The increase in population will create strong demand for property. This is why the property markets are up, driven by the dynamics of supply and demand. Interest rates are near their peak. But high interest rates and growth in property values have historically moved together at the start of the upturn in the property cycle. We are at the cusp of a new upswing. Real estate is one of the best hedges against inflation. Although property prices may go up or down over the short term, the market has always trended upwards over the long term. Finally, your personal circumstances and financial goals should always play a significant role in determining when to buy or sell. ~ by Paul KLounnas, Hudson Bond

Oct 19, 2023

Don't Do It

The real estate industry's greatest fear is that home sellers will work out how easy it is to find a buyer for their property without using a real estate agent. How do you find a buyer without a real estate agent? Just do what the agent does. Put an ad on the internet, an ad in the paper, a signboard on the property and list it with a fair price guide. These marketing strategies will have buyers beating a path to your door. It really is that simple. Real estate agents have two primary roles when employed by a home seller. The first is to find interested buyers. Different agents use different strategies to achiev this objective. They will focus on a combination of newspaper ads, underquoting, internet ads, just listed cards, signboards, databases, brochures etc. The second objective of the agent is to negotiate the highest possible price with the best terms for the home seller. Some agents can achieve this objective, some can't. However, some home sellers could also acheive this outcome and some can't. For the home sellers that could competently negotiate for themselves, the real value a real estate agent can offer is one of saving time and effort. Undersell Properties Most agents spend excessive amounts of money finding buyers and then use selling strategies, such as auction, that undersell properties. The excessive amounts of money being spent by agents looking for buyers is the home seller's money, not the agents. So, if the home seller is paying upfront (or even on a payment plan) for advertising and carrying the risk to find a buyer, what is the home seller really paying for? Answer; the agent's negotiation skills or lack of it in some cases... The excessive amounts of money being spent by agents looking for buyers is the home seller's money, not the agents. Find out the value of your property and see comparable sales, suburb performances and more. It takes seconds. GET A PROPERTY ESTIMATE If you feel comfortable that the agent does not possess a high level of negotiation skill to sell your home, do it yourself. To pay an agent $5,000 non refundable in the hope of finding a buyer in this day and age of the internet is absurd. Furthermore, when the agent does find you a buyer they want to charge a full commission on top. Cut through questions In most cases, there are two magnificent cut through questions that home sellers have not asked themselves before "investing" $5,000 or more toward an advertising campaign. Firstly, who pays for the advertising if the best offer is below the price the agent quoted and/or below the vendor's reserve price. Secondly, can the same outcome be achieved using a cheaper and much more effective marketing medium. Given the auction clearance rate has hovered around 40%, 6/10 homesellers have learned the above through regrettable experience. ~ by Peter O'Malley, author of Inside Real Estate